Boxing Day Pie

A traditional Thanksgiving meal is made up of some very hit-and-miss dishes, such as pumpkin pie – not as disgusting as it sounds and, if made right, tastes like heaven. Their combination of turkey, stuffing and cranberry sauce, however, is such a hit even here in the UK that households have adopted it as their Christmas roast, and turned the leftovers into a concoction called Boxing Day Pie.

300g cooked turkey

1 pack sage and onion stuffing

1 tbsp crème fraîche

½ teaspoon ground nutmeg

Jar of cranberry sauce

340g plain flour

150g cold butter/lard/shortening

1 egg

Salt and pepper

1.Follow the instructions on the stuffing packet to create a thin sheet of stuffing that can be cooled and later crumbled into pieces. While the stuffing is cooking/cooling, begin making the pastry by sifting flour into a large mixing bowl, stirring in a teaspoon of salt with the fingertips, and add the fat gradually in small cubes to make the ingredients easier to mix. Rub the fat and flour between your fingers for 2-3 minutes until the mixture resembles yellowed breadcrumbs and gradually add teaspoons of cold water to the bowl so that the pastry can form. Unlike bread, the pastry doesn’t require kneading, and it’s best to add the water gradually so that the pastry is still crumbly, but when pressed between two hands it stays together.

2.Once the pastry is of the right consistency, wrap it in cling film and leave in the fridge for half an hour. In the meantime, use two forks to shred the turkey and add it to a lightly oiled pan on medium heat. After a minute, add a generous tablespoon of crème fraîche to the pan, and sprinkle in the nutmeg, some salt, and pepper if desired. Stir the turkey into the newly-made sauce for a few minutes and add a pinch or two of flour to thicken it. This will ensure that the sauce doesn’t seep too far into the pastry. Take the pan off the heat and allow it to cool.

3.Flour the kitchen surface and a rolling pin in preparation for the pastry, which will be rolled out to fit the width and depth of the pie tin being used. If using a wide but shallow pie tin, turn said tin upside-down and measure against the rolled out pastry to see if there is enough pastry left to cover the edges; a deep pie tin will require the pastry being worked in with the fingers rather than rolled on top and fitted. Trim the edges of the pie tin with a sharp knife and chill the pastry in the fridge for 5-10 minutes so that it doesn’t shrink in the oven.

4.Preheat the oven to 170°. Begin layering the pie case with the broken sheet of stuffing, spoonfuls of turkey and sauce, cranberry sauce, and repeat until the casing is full. Use a rolling pin to pick up the remainder of the pastry and roll it on top of the pie case, forming the crust. Water will help blend the casing to the roof if the two pieces of pastry won’t connect. Make a small hole in the top of the pie so that air can escape, and use a beaten egg to glaze the pastry before it goes into the oven for 15 minutes, or until the pastry is cooked.

Georgia Ryan

(Image: Georgia Ryan)

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